Working from home, science and saxophones!

15 Apr 2020, 11:33 AM

Music room invaded by NRC scientist - Covid19 lockdown office.

We talked to Manas Chakraborty our Freshwater Resource Scientist from the Natural Resources Science team, to find out how he’s been getting on working from home over the past couple of weeks.

Manas and his team had a meeting at 10am on the 23 March, starting the day like any other Monday, but by 2pm his whole team packed up to head home. By that evening the team were checking in on each other to make sure they were all up and running and ready for the challenge ahead.

After a few days settling in and sorting technology hiccups it was time to get to work. One of the biggest challenges is the transition from ‘home’ to the ‘office’. “I make sure I mentally set myself up for the day by following my usual routine. I get up, I get dressed and head to work, even if it’s not too far to go now” says Manas Chakraborty.

Taking regular breaks has been harder too. Working from home has meant spending longer focused on reports and data, sometimes letting hours pass by before taking any breaks. With no one else around to take the lead from, it’s easy to forget to break up your day. “My wife has been very good at reminding me to get up, take a break and come back refreshed” Manas says.

WhatsApp has been a tool his team have been using for Health & Safety check-ins. Now the team are making full use of the App to connect with each other daily. Manas has enjoyed the camaraderie built in the group chat. Manas says he’s lucky, he doesn’t have too many distractions. He knows it’s trickier for some of his colleagues at home with kids. Overall, they check-in with each other regularly and everyone seems to be coping well.

One thing Manas is using to keep the balance between work and home is music. “My saxophone is keeping me good company” he says. “Although, I’m not sure my neighbours are enjoying the fact I have more time to play. I do make sure I close my windows and muffle the sound with winter coats. I might just get away with it for the rest of lockdown!”

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